Joule - Jules

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Don't confuse the homophones (in English) joule and Jules - and distinguish between two names written Jules. The English pronunciation is 'jool' (IPA: /dʒuːl/); in French, the vowels are distinct (/u:/ for joule and /y/ for Jules).

  • The joule is a unit, used in the SI (International System of Units), and before it in the metric system and first of all in the Imperial system, where it was named in 1882, after the English physicist J.P.Joule (1818-1889). It is defined as "the amount of work done (or of heat generated) by a current of one ampère acting for one second against a resistance of one ohm. Later adopted as the M.K.S. unit of energy and work in non-electrical contexts also; it is equal to 10 million ergs" (OED); "the work done when the point of application of a force of one newton is displaced through a distance of one metre in the direction of the force"; "the work required to move an electric charge of one coulomb through an electrical potential difference of one volt, or one '"coulomb volt" (C·V)"; or "the work required to produce one watt of power for one second, or one "watt second" (W·s)".
    • There is also a micro-brewery named Joule's which brews on the premises of the Red Lion pub in Market Drayton, Shropshire. This is a revival of a previous Joule's Brewery at Stone, Staffordshire which had been discontinued in 1974, and which had owned the Red Lion then.
  • Jules is a forename, with two separate derivations and two pronunciations.
    • More traditionally, it is a French forename for males. In this form, it is the successor to the Latin Julius (famous as the name of the great Roman general, statesmen, and historian, Julius Caesar). The French pronounce it with the same vowel as rue and tu, a sound not used in RP, although it may be heard in Scots, especially in such words in urban West of Scotland as 'you'. The '-s' is silent.
    • The same spelling has increasingly become a common abbreviation of such English names as Julian (predominantly male), Julie, Juliet and Juliana (female). In this manifestation, it is usually pronounced 'Joolz' (IPA: /dʒu:lz/) - and sometimes written 'Jools'. The '-s' is realized as 'z'.